Lost and Found

I’ve struggled.

Over the past months, maybe even year, it’s been very difficult for me to put my feelings into words. And it hasn’t just been “a bad case of writer’s block.” Not just a wall. Not simply a slump. It has been, in fact, some weird, impenetrable energy field that I could not pass through or even touch. I could only see through its clear, honey-comb patterns, and I know this is starting to sound like a tripped-out episode of R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” but honestly, this is what I have pictured. This has been my nightmare.

I am on one side, and my words are on the other. They stare at me. Every spelled out word has a face. But not in a sense that every word has a matching image to define them. They instead have actual human faces that express their meaning within the context of the human condition. (Yes, I know. Even weirder.) So I just stand there watching them cry, sit bored and alone. Some have jubilees, and some play games. I do nothing but live. “I live my life, words, and you live yours.”

I can’t exactly say which demon trumped me and my will to write. All I know is that I lost myself internally while keeping track of myself externally. And when I say lost, I mean driving-onto-the-Chicago-highway-system-for-the-first-time type of lost. Believe me, it can be terrifying.

So in an attempt to save myself, I dived into the questions: ” Why do I lack motivation? Why am I ignoring emotion? Why do the pen, paper, or computer screen become lackluster after years of obsession and dependence? I was actively trying to find something that had never left. Something, as I’d mentioned earlier, that I was already staring at, point blank, but not really seeing.

Looking for inspiration. Worrying about a career. Fighting industry image. The frightening fact that people who do not believe in poetry, who do not believe in the art of soul and soul of art, the fact that these people do not believe in me, or us as one artistic body. These were the things blocking my heart from speaking, squeezing it only to pump blood when it saw fit. Nourishing the logic, while the malnourished imagination quivers in a corner, thin, brittle, and scared.

And I was scared. Because writing changed my life in ways that even my long-winded, incredibly insightful mother cannot describe. To know it was the end, was to end up knowing nothing at all, but the meaningless tasks of everyday life…

“Meaningless tasks of everyday life.”
“Meaningless. Tasks. Of everyday life.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I was a teenager, it’s that knowing yourself means knowing your fears like a best friend, maybe even better. I was afraid of becoming nothing, and in my attempt to float above this “nothingness” I had forgotten everything that makes me feel like I have 1 million somethings tied up together in a convenient, travel-sized bundle.

My life is poetry, whether dull or boring, when I’m at a desk, during my morning commute, during my evening commute, while I speak to my mother, when I joke with my father, when I attend a wake, when I lay next to my partner, when I babysit my nieces and read them books about zoo animals, when watch comedy shows with my sister, when I play zombie video games with my brother, when I’m putting on make up or brushing my hair or trying to write a blog for people I may never meet.

I stopped writing because I thought, in a very naive “adult” sense, that I must grow up, when, ironically, I’ve grown more through writing than I ever have doing anything else.

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